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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Blind man barred from TV gameshow
Lottery machine
Mr Rainsford even offered to have a 'sighted' helper
A Derby man has been barred from a television show because he is blind.

Jeff Rainsford rang a hotline after his telephone number matched the six numbers that appeared on the National Lottery Winning Lines quiz programme.

The show's producers told him he would not be able to take part because he could not see the video screens used.

The BBC said the situation was regrettable but as a visual medium TV can never be totally accessible to visually impaired people.

Discrimination issue

Originally Mr Rainsford was told he could take part with a Braille keyboard - but this would only happen in the first part of the show, which features a quick-fire quiz.

He then offered to have someone standing next to him, to describe what was on screens used later, but he was told by a researcher the programme needed to see one person at a time not two.

Mr Rainsford said: "They were very apologetic and quite embarrassed and Rosie (the researcher) even said it would be a feather in their cap to have a blind person on the programme for publicity reasons.

"I'm quite aggrieved by it and I did ask to be put on one of the other lottery programmes which don't involve vision so much but that particular firm doesn't produce the others."

In a statement the BBC, on behalf of its programme-makers, said: "The Disability Discrimination Act requires broadcasters to make reasonable adjustments to their programming which the BBC takes very seriously and makes every effort to identify and fulfil those adjustments where possible."

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